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The Wonder Years

What being a paperboy taught me !!!

One of the last moments that was shared with my Mother at the age of 87 years old was her comment about how proud she was that I had been such a good paperboy. I always tried to take much time with each family on my paper route, getting to know them, helping them mow their grass, and in general just sharing their lives and experiences. My Mother always took much care in helping others in our neighborhood. This part of my childhood influenced my life more than any academic pursuits that I later pursued.

~(Taking the time) to learn the name of each family member including all children. taking up collections when families had lost loved ones, cooking for families when they were dealing with a difficult time in their lives, and just sharing their experiences in a personal and caring way.

~Yes, I learned much about life and people at the age of 12 years old. Each month I would ride my bicycle to Montgomery Wards and make my payment on the 12-foot flat-bottom boat that I dreamed of owning. My paper route made that glorious day a reality as I still remember my Father loading it into our station wagon and its arrival after two long years of carefully planned payments.

~Ingenuity was a must and also led to many skills I still use today. Notice my Collie in the picture below as I eventually had to transfer the saddlebags for carrying newspapers to his carrying skills. It worked very well with the exception of a moment when a cat would cross our path.

I learned how to keep track of weekly payments on my weekly collection of 80 cents which many times were done in the freezing temperatures in Southern Ohio. How nice families were to invite me into their homes and the ones with pianos were especially surprised when I took time to play their pianos even with frozen fingers before leaving their homes. Yes, I learned many important life lessons during the "wonder years" of my youth.

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